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Microsoft wants its new Bethesda games to be “first or best” on Xbox

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For the last couple of years, Microsoft has been a bit of a punching bag when it comes to talking about console-exclusive games. Sony has…all of this, Nintendo’s got an undeniable talent for selling you the same game several times over multiple generations and Microsoft has a world premiere of a Halo Infinite delay.

That’s a bit harsh, but even the majesty of Ori alone can’t move consoles quick enough to keep pace with Sony. That’s all going to be changing over the next few years as Microsoft found an incredibly simple solution to help puff up its games library: Spending billions of cold hard cash on acquiring studios and publishers.

A couple of months ago the house of Bill Gates spent a staggering $7.5 billion on a ZeniMax acquisition, which also included Bethesda and a number of studios along with cutting edge cloud streaming technology. That’s a lot of cash to spend and look to recoup, leading many to speculate that all Bethesda games would be Xbox Series X/ Series S exclusives. Not so, says Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart! Xbox games may appear on other consoles, but the best version of those games will be an entirely different talking point.

“What we’ll do in the long run is we don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise,” Stuart said at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference last week via VGC and Seeking Alpha’s transcription.

But what we want is we want that content, in the long run, to be either first or better or best or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best — on our platforms.

That’s not a point about being exclusive. That’s not a point about we’re being — adjusting timing or content or road map. But if you think about something like Game Pass, if it shows up best in Game Pass, that’s what we want to see, and we want to drive our Game Pass subscriber base through that Bethesda pipeline.

“So again, I’m not announcing pulling content from platforms one way or the other,” Stuart added. “But I suspect you’ll continue to see us shift towards a first or better or best approach on our platforms.” What the “best” version of a Bethesda-published game is, beyond it being a day one Xbox Game Pass title that has a much lower price of admission.

As for other Bethesda games such as Deathloop (confirmed for a May release) and Ghostwire: Tokyo? No worries chums, they’ll still be popping up on PlayStation and honouring their exclusivity deals.

Last Updated: November 17, 2020

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